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MBC997's Profile

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Bar Charlie - "Date Night" april special?

I might try to check this out when I'm in Vegas next week... does anyone know if "date night" is limited to couples only, or will my whole group be able to do it? Also do I need to specify "date night" when I make the reservation? thanks!

Apr 01, 2009
MBC997 in Southwest

Mint Indian Restaurant- Bluefield, WV

Had an amazing authentic Indian dinner last night in the unlikely location of Bluefield, WV. This place is right on par with, if not better than, many of the casual Indian restaurants I have frequented in cities and neighborhoods known for their Indian cuisine.

We learned that Chef Robbie has been cooking at Mint for around 6 months. He was trained as a chef in India, and cooked there for 17 years before coming to West Virginia to work for Mr. Patel, a family friend of his who owns the restaurant and the adjoining Economy Inn. Chef Robbie is incredibly talented, and Mr. Patel and his staff are welcoming and gracious hosts.

Everything we were served was fresh and homemade. There were 8 of us, so it was the perfect opportunity to sample a good variety of dishes on the menu. Started with some delicious shrimp and vegetable fritters, chicken chaat, then we were served a beautiful seafood chowder (was not on the menu), followed by a trio of south Indian dosas and uttapam. Our "main dishes" included a mixed grill of tandoori chicken, lamb, and seafood, lamb biryani and vindaloo, 2 types of dal, okra, and cauliflower- all were incredible. The homemade cheese in the saag paneer was also a standout- so much that as stuffed as we were, we could not resist ordering the two types of fried cheese dumplings (again homemade) that were offered for dessert.

It's more than an hour drive for me, but I plan to make the trip often-- you just don't find Indian cuisine on this level in this part of the country.

Here's the info:
Mint Indian Restaurant
3200 E. Cumberland Rd
Bluefield, WV
304-325-9111
Open Tues-Sun- lunch buffet 11:30-3; dinner 5-10 pm
They do not serve alcohol- next time I will inquire about BYO- not familiar with WV laws on this...

Jan 08, 2009
MBC997 in General South Archive

Finer-Dining in Kingsport [TN]

Yes the Town House changed chefs earlier this year, but the food has drastically improved under the new chefs... from my experience, it is definitely worth the trip from the tri-cities area. It is unfortunate that the fine dining options are so limited in this area in general though, especially given the vast selection of chain restaurants out there.

Oct 14, 2008
MBC997 in General South Archive

Best sushi in NC is Haru, Raleigh.

The secret is out! I agree, Haru is definitely the best sushi in Raleigh. I had given up on finding quality sushi in Raleigh until we found Haru. Great service, knowledgeable staff as well. We've been going once a week and have yet to be disappointed on any level.

Jul 07, 2008
MBC997 in Southeast

The Cupcake Shop - Raleigh

I was in the area earlier today, had a craving for a cupcake so I tried out their "Big Red"- red velvet with cream cheese buttercream. Probably the most dry and flavorless cake I have tasted. The icing was great though, so I see why the icing lovers on this board like it. Also the cake wasn't uniformly red, like the batter hadn't been mixed properly and that kind of annoyed me. I think next time I might try their carrot cake... in my experience it's hard to make a dry carrot cake so we shall see!

Apr 17, 2008
MBC997 in General South Archive

Ode to Sticky Rice. Richmond now need safe?

I agree, Sticky Rice has a fun atmosphere but I've always found their sushi to be sub-par. The tater tots are always great though!

People love that bathtub salad bar at Strawberry St, and while it is a Richmond landmark of sorts, the food is really very ordinary. I would recommend Can Can, located in Carytown. Great atmosphere and service, wonderful French brasserie-style food.

Apr 07, 2008
MBC997 in General South Archive

Abingdon, VA - Places to Eat

Yes, the Starving Artist has been closed for a while now.... a year maybe? had seemed to be on the decline for some time before that unfortunately.

In my experience though, the Town House Grill is the best in the area for fine dining. They now offer a tasting menu as well as a la cart. Very creative (and tasty!) stuff.

Apr 02, 2008
MBC997 in General South Archive

Buying spices in the Triangle area

Thanks for the suggestions. I bought everything at The Spice House when I lived in Chicago... I miss that place!

Apr 02, 2008
MBC997 in General South Archive

Buying spices in the Triangle area

Where are your favorite places to buy quality spices in the Triangle? Does anyone grind on premises? Thanks!

Apr 01, 2008
MBC997 in General South Archive

Abingdon, VA - Places to Eat

The Starving Artist has closed. Try the Town House Grill in nearby Chilhowie, VA.

Apr 01, 2008
MBC997 in General South Archive

Does modern cooking exist outside of major cities?

that's interesting... I will be in Pittsburgh for a conference this summer. will check it out.

Mar 30, 2008
MBC997 in General Topics

Does modern cooking exist outside of major cities?

Recently I've become really interested in progressive cuisine, whether you call it modern, hyper-modern, or molecular gastronomy.... I've had the opportunity to eat at Alinea, Moto, and Schwa in Chicago and WD-50 and Tailor in NYC. Minibar in Washington, DC is on my list to try next.

I'm wondering though, are chefs doing stuff like this in places other than these and other major cities? I've heard of Sean Brock at McCrady's in Charleston. Are there others?

It's interesting that some of Europe's most well known and influential restaurants of this type, el Bulli and The Fat Duck, are both a little off the beaten path, outside of cities and I'm wondering if there is anything comparable in the US.

Mar 27, 2008
MBC997 in General Topics

One night in Charleston: is McCready's worth it?

Thanks, Mike for the comments AND recommendations!

Mar 14, 2008
MBC997 in General South Archive

One night in Charleston: is McCready's worth it?

Some friends and I are planning a weekend at Isle of Palms and want to drive into Charleston for dinner one night. I'm interested in McCready's because it sounds like Sean Brock is doing some things that you wouldn't expect to find in Charleston... molecular gastronomy or whatever you like to call it. Between the four of us, we spend a decent amount of time dining in NYC and Chicago... obviously I'm not expecting it to be Alinea, but I'd just like to hear more about how McCready's compares to other restaurants doing that style of food.

Mar 13, 2008
MBC997 in General South Archive

What are your fav food blogs? NC/VA/TN area

I'm considering a move down to this part of the country, depending on how my job search goes... Anyway I'm really interested in learning more about the region's different local food scenes, specifically Tri-Cities TN, Knoxville TN, Asheville NC, Roanoke VA, Raleigh-Durham, NC. Any of you Chowhound posters have your own blogs? Favorites you can recommend? thanks!

Feb 07, 2008
MBC997 in Food Media & News